President Obama To Meet Pope Francis On March 27: What To Expect

The Muslim Times’ Editor’s Comment:

I hope President Obama openly acknowledges some of his Islamic background, to the Pope and presents him a new book by Prof. Bart Ehrman, coming out on March 25th, How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee.

This should bring two billion Christians and one and a half billion Muslims and fifteen million Jews, so much closer, to a shared view of our Transcendent God, who is beyond time, space and matter and cares for humanity more than a father and a mother.

Obama speaking in Mandela's Memorial

Obama speaking in Mandela’s Memorial

Source: The Huffington Post

ROME (RNS) President Obama is to meet Pope Francis for the first time next week (March 27) as Obama wraps up a European tour, a high-profile encounter between two major world leaders that appears to carry especially high stakes from the U.S. perspective.

The White House and the American bishops have been at loggerheads for years on a range of culture war issues, and on Tuesday, just two days before the Vatican meeting, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the contraception mandate that has sparked fierce opposition from the U.S. hierarchy.

But American and Vatican officials say the talks may disappoint those hoping for fireworks, and that the summit is going to focus on collaboration much more than conflict.

One reason is that the two men have a lot in common. Moreover, neither side wants to derail the chances for greater cooperation at a time of global volatility.

“I have to believe in this kind of high-level meeting, it’s not about making anybody feel bad,” Ken Hackett, the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, said in a recent interview in his office here.

Hackett, the longtime head of Catholic Relief Services, has friends in the hierarchy and ties to both parties in Washington. He was seen as a smart pick when Obama nominated him as the new Vatican ambassador last year.

Hackett said there’s no doubt that Francis and Obama differ on issues like abortion rights and gay marriage. But neither he nor Vatican officials expect those wedges to dominate the discussions, nor would either camp want them to sidetrack the meeting.

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Categories: Americas

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